My Top 15 Travel highlights of 2018 and travel plans for 2019

My Top 15 Travel highlights of 2018 and travel plans for 2019

2018 has been a wonderful year for me in terms of travel and I’ve been able to explore more of the UK as well as visit new countries, new cities and return to old favourites, having brand new experiences in them all. In total I took 23 flights, 7 trains and 2 road trips. Here is my year in travel!

1. Barnby Moor

I kicked off the year with a staycation at Ye Olde Bell Hotel and Spa, located in Barnby Moor. The Spa is just incredible and it was the perfect way to relax post Christmas.

You can read about my trip here:

https://www.binnysfoodandtravel.com/2018/01/13/review-ye-olde-bell-hotel-and-spa/

2. Hampshire

In February I visited Hampshire, staying at The Four Seasons Hampshire, who even have a resident dog called Oliver! The hotel, its grounds, restaurant and service are all super and its a great place to have a little escapade in the heart of the countryside.

You can read about my trip here:

https://www.binnysfoodandtravel.com/2018/02/18/hotel-review-a-slice-of-country-living-at-four-seasons-hampshire/

3. Palma

In March I visited Palma, the vibrant capital city of Mallorca (Majorca), for the first time on a press trip with Jet2.com. Palma is  full to the brim with a fascinating history, a fantastic dining scene, art, history and culture as well as the added bonus of having a beach right on its doorstep. The city is fringed with palm trees, which makes me so happy. It is just over a 2 hour flight from London, making it perfect for a city break, and we flew with Jet2.com.

You can read about my trip here:

 https://www.binnysfoodandtravel.com/2018/03/12/top-10-things-to-do-in-palma-mallorca/

4. Rome

In April we visited cosmopolitan Rome, with its seductive mix of history, culture, cuisine and the prettiest streets. From the ancient monuments which are awe-inspiring from yesteryear to the sophisticated rooftops offering amazing views of the gorgeous city, I loved soaking it all in over 3 glorious sunshine filled days, living ‘La dolce vita.’ Oh and all the pasta, pizza, wine and gelato too! Such a great destination for a city break to recharge and relax.

You can read about my trip here:

https://www.binnysfoodandtravel.com/2018/04/23/how-to-make-the-most-of-rome-in-3-days/

5. Santorini

Santorini has been on my bucket list for so long and I finally ticked it off in May. It is the perfect romantic medley of archaeological sites, multi-coloured beaches, white washed buildings, famous blue domes, and breathtaking sunsets.

When I arrived in Santorini I couldn’t stop marvelling at just how postcard perfect it was. It looks EXACTLY how it is shown in photos and it is breathtakingly beautiful no matter where you are on the island. I would go back in a heart beat! I would highly recommend it for a visit and I hope to return soon!

You can read about my trip here:

https://www.binnysfoodandtravel.com/2018/05/09/travel-guide-santorini-greece/

6. York

In May I visited York for the first time to try the MasterChef Travel Dining experience hosted by Italian born MasterChef 2011 finalist, Sara Danesin, where she helped us develop my culinary techniques in making fresh pasta from scratch.

You can read about my trip here:

https://www.binnysfoodandtravel.com/2018/05/31/a-taster-of-the-superbreak-masterchef-travel-dining-break-in-york-with-a-sara-danesin-medio-private-cookery-experience/

7. Jura, France

Standing in a Cheese cellar surrounded by Comté cheese is certainly my idea of heaven. I was lucky enough to visit the Jura Massif region in France in May to witness the Comté cheese making process, which was so fascinating and my dream kind of trip as a cheese-a-holic.

You can read about my trip here:

https://www.binnysfoodandtravel.com/2018/06/26/a-trip-to-the-jura-massif-region-of-france-to-learn-all-about-comte-cheese/

8. Verbier

Staying at The Lodge, one of the seven exclusive Virgin Limited Edition properties, Sir Richard Branson’s award-winning collection of luxury retreats and hotels from around the world, was definitely one of the biggest highlights this year. It was also my first time in Verbier and it was just stunning in the summer.

You can read about my trip here:

https://www.binnysfoodandtravel.com/2018/07/03/luxurious-swiss-chalet-chic-at-the-lodge-verbier/

9. India

In September I visited Delhi, Agra, Jaipur, the ‘Golden Triangle’ for the first time and Varanasi and it was just amazing. I will be headed back to India next year to do my trip of a lifetime so stay tuned!

You can read about my trips here:

Varanasi

Delhi

Kalakho, Agra and Jaipur

10. Bali

I returned to Bali this year on a solo trip as a digital nomad and I adored my time there. This time I stayed at The St Regis Bali and I am already plotting a return for next year. I love the people, the food, the weather and how relaxed it is.

You can read about my stay at The St Regis Bali here.

You can read about my suggestions on things to do in Bali here.

11. Thailand

We had a big family holiday in Thailand this year, as well as it being part of my solo trip. This time I revisited Bangkok, and new to me were Khao Lak and Phuket.

In Bangkok I stayed at:

Shangri La Bangkok

Amari Watergate Bangkok

St Regis Bangkok

In Phuket I stayed at:

Amari Phuket

You can read about my suggestions on things to do in Bangkok here.

12. Cyprus

Cyprus is known as the island of love and the mythical birthplace of the Goddess of Love – Aphrodite. It is no wonder that when people visit Cyprus the first time they fall in love with this beautiful Mediterranean island, just like I did!

You can find my Cyprus Travel Guide here.

13. Cheddar Gorge

I absolutely love cheese and so when an invitation popped in my inbox to visit the Cheddar Gorge Cheese Company, a family owned, independent, artisanal cheddar cheesemaker in the village of Cheddar, of course I said yes! We learned all about the process of ‘Cheddaring’ as well as tried lots of Cheddar cheese.

You can read all about it here.

14. Fuerteventura

My penultimate trip of the year was to Fuerteventura, where we explored the island as well as learned how to surf, which was so much fun! Watch this space for my blog post.

15. Murcia

Spain has featured a lot this year in my travel and I ended my trips for the year with a visit to Murcia over Christmas, where we explored the town, visited the Christmas markets, then ate, drank and chilled by the beach, having a very relaxed trip.

2019 Travel Plans

In 2019, my plans so far for the first half of the year are:

  • A staycation in Central London with my blogger friends in January.
  • In February I return to Spain, this time to Valencia.
  • Mid-February I am going home to Kenya after almost 2 years.
  • In March I am going to Brighton for a Murder Mystery weekend.
  • In Mid March I will be returning to India for my trip of a lifetime.
  • In the summer (date to be confirmed) I will be visiting the Champagne region in France.

What have been your travel highlights for 2018? Let me know in the comments below xx

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Binita Shah-Patel

Hi, I’m Binny – a writer, dreamer, serial wanderluster and travel addict. I am originally from Kenya but now live in London. I set up this blog to share my experiences eating out as well as travelling.

I love packing my bags and going off on adventures as one of the best things about travelling is the ability to just get lost in it. To set aside the maps and itineraries and just see where the road takes you, learning and evolving and living in the moment along the way.

It’s my goal to get swept off my feet as often as possible.

Find me on: Web | Twitter

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9 Comments

  1. December 28, 2018 / 12:06 pm

    What a great year and some exciting plans for 2019!

  2. December 28, 2018 / 3:24 pm

    Wow what a travelling year you’ve had! You will love Valencia, in-between version of Barcelona and Madrid!

  3. December 29, 2018 / 12:55 am

    Sounds like the dream year, I’m especially jelous of santorini and verbier!! Xxx

  4. December 29, 2018 / 9:42 am

    Wow what a fabulous year! Very excited to read about your adventures in 2019

  5. December 29, 2018 / 10:18 pm

    Looks like you’ve done some amazing trips this year and also have some great ones lined up already for 2019! Kenya sounds lovely – I’ve always wanted to go!

  6. January 2, 2019 / 1:55 pm

    What a brilliant year! 2019 is sounding amazing already!

  7. January 16, 2019 / 7:11 am

    I think you really had a great time on your travel, I hope this year it will be the same. Thank you for sharing.

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